Thursday, January 2, 2014

South African Pantsula Dance (information, videos, & comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents information & comments about the South African originated dance form called "pantsula" ("amapantsula", "mapantsula"). Seven videos of pantsula dancing are also showcased in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"Pantsula is a dance form that consists of footwork, rhythm and beat. It was developed in the 1980's and started mainly in the streets of Soweto. This energetic dance was originated in the townships of south africa. Many performers of today uses props such as brooms, cans and stick etc."

The Pantsula became a very popular form of dance in the 1980s among young men and women in the townships of Africa. The dance was not only used for them to express themselves, but was also a way of life. It expressed their lives as a reflection of the violence of the township culture. The dance set them free from parental dominance and it gave them freedom without prejudice. It gained international recognition and became the pop music of the decade.

The Dance
The Pantsula dance is described as a flat footed African tap-and-glide style of dance. The Zulu word "pantsula" means to "waddle like a duck or alternatively to walk with protruded buttocks," which is a characteristic of the dance."

These videos are presented in chronological order based on their posting date on YouTube with the oldest dated videos given first. A few comments may also be quoted after the videos.

WARNING: As is the case with many YouTube video viewer comment threads, some of the comments in these discussions contain profanity, racist, homophobic, and other problematic content.

Example #1: Dance Direction International-Pansula DVD

dancedirection, Uploaded on Jul 14, 2009

Traditional Township dance done in the black township suburbs in South Africa. Always done in Tackies with fast , intricate footwork and usually tells an everyday life story with humour added into it. Choreographed by the CHIZBOYZ. They have performed in many corporate functions, at the Grahamstown Festival, on the Island of Reunion, etc. They are based in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Example #2: mapantsula for life

DNkala Uploaded on May 14, 2010

boys can dance
Mattman Key1, 2012
"I realized that bits and pieces of the song are from Kuduro songs, an ANGOLAN type of music!! lol"
As of this date, two other commenters identified this music as Kuduro music from Angola. I'm not sure where this video was filmed.

Example #3: COLORS dance to PANTSULA

colorsmagazine78, Uploaded on Sep 23, 2010

The boys of Johannesburg's violent townships grew up running, jumping and crawling from the police, facing dangerous lives of gangsterism and crime. Now these boys are men, and their dance shows the way to a new, non-violent future.

Filmmaker Chris Saunders / Editing Pablo Pastor / Soundmix Adam Lieber

Example #4: Real Actions Pantsula - Brooms

Sello Modiga Published on Apr 10, 2012
Comments: 2012

lebohang nkwatsi1
"i am glad i grow up in a period in Orange Farm where Pantsula was the greatest form of expression and entertainment. i've seen the best performances, is too bad lot of guys grow up, quit the art form to find jobs to pay bills. Some of us had to leave FAMA to go further our studies. i am wondering if we had this kind of technology back in the day, will Action still have uploaded this videos? lmao..."

lebohang nkwatsi
"they would have been copied by lot of guys, Real Action was and is still the pacesetter. much respect to you guys and big ups for giving lot of guys that i didn't think they will ever play for Action the opportunity to be part of your family."

Example #5: Amapantsula Ajabulile......FILMED BY STREET CORNER FILMS

STREETCORNER FILMS, Published on Apr 25, 2012

Comment - 2012
[in response to another comment]

"…his saying " mina " meaning me ....Is a South Africa language"

Comment: 2013
Nat Godley
"Is this music Pitch Black Afro? Got addicted to his track Matofotofo on the Tsotsi soundtrack but kwaito in general is really hard to find on CD or download in the US, and none of PBA's stuff seems to have been released outside of SA."


STREETCORNER FILMS Published on Dec 6, 2012

Comments 2013
Astrid Vitols
"J'adoooooore !!!!! I really enjoyyyyyy it ! This new dance from South Africa is a mix of afro, jazz, claquettes, that's so amazing !! African Youth is so creative, innovating all the time !!! BIG UP TO ALL OF THOSE YOUNG BOYS ;-)...Kiss ! Astrid from Paris, France ;-)"

Mattman Key
"Pantsula ain't new, it's been around since the 80s (or a little older)!!! Respect!!"

"Panstula started in late 50's actually, they wasn't so much as dances then, bootleggers and petty criminals, street cats, they really started dancing around late 70's and then when bubblegum came out thats when it really took with the dancing, Respect Panstula for life!"

Makhaola Ndebele
"Yes, It's great. It's not new though, it's been around since the early 80s, from what I know of it."

Putumani Nomzaza
"I thought Pantsula was dead but after watching these guys its so alive, i love being South African!"

Example #7: PANTSULA STREET DANCE Computer

Mada Sthembiso Published on Jun 2, 2013

Comment - 2013

Bonginkosi Shiba2
"Name of the sound track is "Maphorisa Feat. Candy - Nkerinkeri" "
Here's a link to a pancocojams post about that song:

Via Volcano [South African pantsula dance group]

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to all of the dancers who are featured in these videos, and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube. Hat tip to

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome!
for alerting me to this dance form and for their excellent African visual arts site!

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